Coaches and Masters athletes set to shine at ILT Sports Awards
It’s been another fine year for coaches and masters achievement in Southland sport over the past 12 months.
The Ricoh Coach of the Year and the NZME Masters Achievement of the Year will be announced at the ILT Southland Sports Awards on Friday night, along with six other sporting categories.
The finalists in the coaching category include Invercargill Rowing Club and New Zealand under 21 rowing coach Jack Allan. A postie by day, Allan achieved his dream of returning to international coaching and found success with three of his crews winning gold in a trans-Tasman competition which also included Canada.
Southern Steel netball coach Reinga Bloxham had to face the challenge of losing star players at each end of the court as she plotted the defence of the ANZ Premiership in 2018. The Steel famously knocked over competition favourites the Central Pulse in the final, and Bloxham has been included in a national Coach Accelerator programme which includes all sports.
Riders consider to enjoy significant success under the tutelage of Southern Performance Hub cycling coach Sid Cumming, including junior world champion team pursuiter Corbin Strong and 2019 junior worlds representatives Conor Shearing and Emily Paterson.
Judd Flavell’s coaching was a major factor in the Southland Sharks securing a third National Basketball League banner in 2018, upsetting title favourites the Wellington Saints in the final, while athletics coach Chris Knight continues to coach local athletes, including national under 18 high jump champion Quin Hartley, to success as well as being selected to coach the New Zealand development team.
The Masters ranks include New Zealand women’s strokeplay golf champion Robyn Boniface and national middle distance champion Debbie Telfer, along with track cyclists James Jubb and Neil Familton, who both claimed multiple titles and a national record at the most recent age group championships.
Boniface was also the best overall individual at the New Zealand women’s masters tournament, while Telfer claimed the W60 road title in September.
Familton’s haul included two gold medals and a silver, along with the record in the M6 2000m individual pursuit.
Jubb won four medals at the championships, including a new national mark and the gold medal in the 1000m time trial.
The finalists for all eight categories – ILT Senior Sportsperson, Vodafone Junior Sportsperson, Southland Kia Team of the Year, Ricoh Coach of the Year, Creation Signs Official of the Year, NZME Masters Achievement, BDO Administrator of the Year, Southland Times People’s Choice Soprting Moment and Sport Southland Services to Sport – will be announced at a gala function on Friday night at the Ascot Park Hotel.